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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Marshmallow Logic - The Taste Debate



Which marshmallow do you prefer?  The pink or the white?


Does being able to taste the difference mean your taste buds are more refined....

Have you ever noticed the difference in flavour between the white and pink marshmallows?

I love the white ones.  They are my favourite and they taste the best.  I don't claim to be a marshmallow connoisseur but I do know what I like.  

As an aside - we have a new coffee van lady who visits us twice a week - every week I order a trim mocha.  I loathe it when they put a lolly on the top - its a nice touch but it should be a marshmallow not a lolly.  I made a comment in passing, and bless her, she has remembered.  So now, she puts a marshmallow.  Guess what colour it is.  Go on - have a guess.  

Thats right - pink.  Sigh.  I don't have the heart to tell her its the white ones I like - after all - its not like I want to come across as pedantic and fussy.  (I am not by the way - I can imagine what you are thinking dear reader, so you can stop right there!!)

Techno Man claims there is no such difference - but I am telling you there is a discernible difference between the white and pink.  I wouldn't say we argue about it but we do have robust discussions on it.  Even now he is saying 'once you shove them all into your mouth there is no difference, they may as well all be grey.'

It got me curious.  Am I the only person who can most definitely tell the difference, or are there others out there who are as equally enlightened when it comes to their taste buds?

A quick google search and it would appear that there are.  You might be surprised.  There is even a facebook page about it called 'Pink and White Marshmallows DO Taste Different."  Most would agree the taste difference, if you can discern it, is in the food colouring, and that this can make it seem more bitter.  I am unsure how scientific that is, but it makes sense to me.

There is also the famous 1960s Marshmallow test that determined how a marshmallow could predict the   level of success you might have in your future based on your ability to deny self gratification and exercise self discipline.  Children were told they could eat a marshmallow straight away or if they waited 15 minutes they would get 2.  They then tracked them over time.  Interesting results.  Those who had self discipline and self control did better in life than those that couldn't resist temptation.  I suspect I know what I would have done.

 (This is the Coles note version - read more about it here or google for lots more information http://healthland.time.com/2011/09/06/the-secrets-of-self-control-the-marshmallow-test-40-years-later/)

So in summary, It seems that just like in our house, the web is just as divided as to the difference.

However, whats most important for me is that I can tell - I can taste a difference, and while I can taste the difference I will maintain that as the truth as I see it.  In reality, if you are like Techno Man and maintain there is no difference - then I would say to you that this is a simple fact really.  Your taste buds are just not as refined as those of us who can spot the difference.

Therefore in answer to the original question above - YES. 


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